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Jaguars nearly selected Calais Campbell with their original first-round pick in 2008

In an endless game of what-ifs, former Jaguars defensive lineman Calais Campbell says the team was ready to select him before a block-buster trade made it impossible.

NFL: AFC Wild Card-Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars were set and ready to select former Jaguars defensive lineman Calais Campbell in 2008 with their first-round selection, 26th overall.

That, according to reality, and Campbell himself, never came to fruition due to the Jaguars drafting up from the 26th overall pick to eighth overall, ironically with the Baltimore Ravens, in order to select former Florida Gators defensive end Derrick Harvey.

“Jacksonville called me the night before the draft [in 2008] and told me they were drafting me at (26) with their first round pick,” Campbell said in a reply to a fan on twitter. “I was so mad when they traded up to get Derrick Harvey! But it all worked out. I’ve had a dream of a career! Only thing left to do is get that Super Bowl Ring!!!”

At the time Campbell slid further in the draft to the Arizona Cardinals’ second-round pick, where he would play for nine years before joining the Jaguars in 2017 via free agency.

In 2008, the Jaguars were coming off of one of their best seasons, making it to the divisional round of the playoffs the year prior, with Super Bowl aspirations in their sights. Instead of standing pat with their pick in the first round they took a risk on Harvey, sending picks 26, two third-round picks (71st, 89th), and a fourth-round selection (125th overall).

The Jaguars had a serious need along their defensive line after trading Pro Bowl defensive lineman Marcus Stroud and allowing pass rusher Bobby McCray to leave via free agency. The team had only an oft-injured pass rusher in Reggie Hayward, and an aging defensive end in Paul Spicer (33 years old at the time).

Harvey would end up playing only 47 games in Jacksonville while producing just eight sacks in three years, a disappointment.

As Campbell previously stated, it did end up working out in the end.

The Jaguars would obtain Campbell via free agency in 2017 and the 2010’s All-Decade player would produce 31.5 sacks and start every game for the team since his signing.

Earlier last month, the Jaguars traded Campbell to the Ravens for a fifth-round pick in this year’s upcoming draft. The musical chairs of teams has now come full circle for Campbell who hopes to win a Super Bowl for the team that originally helped deny him the chance to go in the first round.